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Wednesday, 20 November 1912

Senator PEARCE (Western Australia) (Minister of Defence) . - If I were to agree to the postponement of this clause I should be creating in the minds of honorable senators the very impression that Senator Guthrie seems to think that we intend to create by omitting the clause. We do not propose to deal with licensed surveyors at all. We propose to eliminate everything in the Bill that affects them. These surveyors are licensed to-day under various State Acts, just as are dentists, land surveyors, and other people. Questions of insurance, purchase, compensation, and other matters will be dealt with by State Courts and under State laws. These surveyors are recognised by the laws of the States under which they are called in to assess damages or to give opinions. It is entirely unnecessary that we should deal with them. The only surveyors with whom this Bill is concerned are surveyors for the purposes of the measure, and they are dealt with under clauses which have been postponed. This clause does not deal with them. It deals with an entirely different class. Licensed surveyors have no duties whatever imposed upon them under the Bill. As I said in my opening remarks, the clause evidently crept into the Bill inadvertently. Possibly it was copied from some State Act, together with other clauses dealing with surveyors. It ought not to have been here, and there is no object in retaining it. There is no ground for its postponement. To postpone it would be to admit that there is some connexion between these licensed surveyors and surveyors for the purposes of the Bill, which are dealt with in the postponed clauses. The Bill does not affect the licensed surveyors in any way. The State legislation dealing with them remains, their powers and usefulness will remain as before, and as there is no object to be served by postponing the clause, I ask the Committee to accept the amendment.

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